Emerging Global Cities: Structural Similarities and Historical Differences

  • Alejandro Portes Princeton
  • Brandon Martinez University of Miami


The evolution of the capitalist economy over the centuries has been characterized by the rise of one or a few cities to a position of prominence as centers for coordination of financial commercial activities worldwide. Sassen identified three such “global cities” in the contemporary era: London, New York, and Tokyo. We trace the emergence of those such “new global” cities—Dubai, Miami, and Singapore—highlighting the structural similarities of their economies and their rather different historical trajectories. Politics and a legal system anchored in English Common Law are elements found in all three cities, but in very different forms and with different functions. We examine the political evolution of each of these cities and the challenges facing them in the short-to-medium term. The experiences of these three cities offer key lessons for those aspiring to a similar position of global prominence in the future.

Biografía del autor/a

Alejandro Portes, Princeton
Alejandro Portes (nacido el 13 de octubre de 1944) es un prominente sociólogo cubano-americano. Actualmente es presidente del departamento de sociología de la Universidad de Princeton y miembro de la Academia Nacional de Ciencias, del Consejo de Administración y del Consejo Científico del IMDEA Instituto de Ciencias Sociales. También se desempeñó corno presidente de la Asociación Americana de Sociología en 1999. Sus estudios académicos se han centrado en la inmigración a los Estados Unidos y los factores que afectan el destino de los inmigrantes y sus hijos. También ha trabajado en asentamientos de chabolas en América Latina. Su obra está muy citada en los sub-campos de la sociología económica, sociología cultural y razay etnicidad. Portes estudió en la Universidad de La Habana (1959-60), Universidad Católica de la Argentina, Buenos Aires (1963) y recibió su BA de la Universidad de Creighton en 1965. Recibió su MA en 1967 y su doctorado en 1970 en sociología de la Universidad de Wisconsin- Madison. Portes ha ocupado la Cátedra John Dewey en Artes y Ciencias en la Universidad Johns Hopkins y la distinción Emilio Bacardi en la Universidad de Miami. También ha impartido docencia previamente en la Universidad de Texas en Austin y en Duke Universify . En 2002 recibió el Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award de la American Sociological Association for Legacies: La historia de la segunda generación de inmigrantes. En 2008, Portes fue galardonado con el Premio NAS de Revisión Científica de la Academia Nacional de Ciencias. Tiene grados honorarios de la nueva escuela para la investigación social, de la universidad de Génova y de la universidad de Wisconsin-Madison.


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Cómo citar
Portes, A., & Martinez, B. (2019). Emerging Global Cities: Structural Similarities and Historical Differences. Revista Española De Sociología, 28(3 - Sup2). https://doi.org/10.22325/fes/res.2019.35